NEW DELHI: Achyuta Samanta, the founder of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), plans to open more KISS branches abroad, with Nepal being the next country where he hopes to start the institution. Samanta said they had already opened a branch in Bangladesh. Samanta, now a Member of Parliament, said he believes in dabbling in philanthropist activities, especially for poor tribal children in Bhubaneswar.Born in 1965, Samanta went to obtain a Masters’ Degree in Chemistry from a city-based university and later a doctorate in social sciences.
At the age of 22, he started teaching. He served as a member of two apex educational bodies of India — the University Grant Commission (UGC) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) — and several other government organisations. In 2016, he was conferred National Award for Child Welfare by president Ram Nath Kovind. Samanta, a staunch believer in education being a great leveller of society, founded the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) in 1992.
With a humble beginning with only 125 students, KISS now is home to 27,000 poorest of the poor tribal children who are given free education from Kindergarten to Post graduation along with other avenues of Comprehensive Development. He is also credited with setting up Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), which has grown from one rented home to one of the most promising professional university in the country with global acclaim.
His drive as a social entrepreneur took him to Kalarabanka, a remote village in Cuttack district of Odisha, which he developed into smart village in 2006. Kalarabanka was named as a Model Village with modern amenities for education, health and sanitation, communication, environment, etc. Samanta believes that his cause is not only about providing opportunities to the deprived, but also in enabling the transformation of these tribal children.